Commentary: US withdrawal from Afghanistan spells finish of China’s totally free ride on worldwide protection

With escalating overseas pursuits and unstable, ungoverned spots close to China’s western frontier, the calculations for Chinese security interventions might be shifting.

And for the first time in modern history, with speedily acquiring electrical power projection abilities, China is in a posture to be in a position to export safety beyond its borders.

The last time China went to war was in 1979, with Vietnam, just 4 decades after the fall of Saigon and the US’ equally extraordinary withdrawal.

Then, instability on China’s border with the rise of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and Vietnam’s invasion of its neighbour encouraged an operation to punish Hanoi.

It is nonetheless to be found if the US withdrawal from Afghanistan will be adopted by comparable Chinese adventurism. The country’s economic passions there are couple, help you save for a concession on a US$4 billion copper mine in Mes Aynak, the world’s next most significant, that has been stalled for a 10 years.

And though Beijing is extremely keen to ensure Afghanistan below the Taliban does not turn out to be a education ground for extremists or, more importantly, Uyghur separatist militants, it has proactively engaged diplomatically with the Taliban to attain assurances of that pretty simple fact.

Nonetheless, it is now distinct for Beijing that in Afghanistan, as elsewhere in the planet, it need to more and more shoulder this safety stress by itself. Its cost-free ride is over.

Christian Le Miere is a foreign coverage adviser and the founder and managing director of Arcipel, a strategic advisory firm based in London.